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HISTORY OF THE CITY
The Town Hall of Cattolica - Palazzo Mancini
The Town Hall’s building of the newborn Cattolica, following the detachment from the city of San Giovanni in Marignano in 1986, is dated 1914 and is included in a series of works that the Mayor Cino Mancini strongly wanted, to build the foundations of the city and to mark its appearance to the first tourists that, in the mid-nineteenth century, had previously attended the one that will be named The Queen of Adriatic.
The early passing of the Mayor Mancini in 1912 induced the new local administration of Cattolica to name the Town Hall after him, and nowadays it has still got his name.
The main building of Cattolica, that nowadays is still maintaining its original state, has been designed by Marcogivi and it was then change by Penza, it is inspired by the renaissance buildings in the style of the twentieth century.
The Building hosted the local administration’s offices and, in the two wings, boys’ and girls’ school. The opposite square, that will be surrounded by other public buildings in the years to come, was embellished by a garden divided by the newborn “via XXIV Maggio”, that linked to “via Flaminia” and the new road network of Cattolica, capable of linking the old fishermen’s and workers’ settlement to the new areas of clear tourists’ inspiration that illustrate the present and of course the future of Cattolica.
Over the years, unfortunately, “Palazzo Mancini” lost good part of the decorations and mosaics because of a change made in the internal areas, and only in the past decades the original aspect of the offices and the elegant front of the building has been renovate.
“Piazza Primo Maggio” and the “Kursaal municipale di Cattolica”
Late in the ‘800, in Cattolica’s new beach facilities, the number of tourists that reached our Adriatic coast was constantly growing, thanks to the interception of the real traffic that in the mid twenty-first century lead to the construction of Cattolica’s train station.
It is in this occasion that the population’s and bathers’ growing needs leaded to the construction of public places dedicate to the “balneazione” and its services: in 1883 the “Stabilimento dei bagni” was born, in an area close to the beach. This building went to replace an area where some years before it raised the “Dogana” building and the “Sanità marittima”, or the “Lazzaretto”.
Over the years the building became “the Kursaal of Cattolica”, essential part of the city’s identity.
The road network in front of the Kursaal, that like nowadays linked the main streets of Cattolica, took its own personality in 1928 when the local administration commissioned a new sculpture to the master Giuseppe Casalini: and so “Piazza Primo Maggio” was born. Casalini’s new fountain-sculpture represent three look alike mermaids that hold a circular tank above their heads from witch water pours out. They’re located at the center of an even larger and also circular tank decorated with four large turtles carved in stone.
Around the end of the ‘80s, the increasing sensitivity to environmental quality and urban development led to the complete redevelopment of Piazza Primo Maggio and the streets connected to it, excluding as much as possible the vehicles‘ transit: so happened the pedestrian area of Piazza Primo Maggio, the creation of a large underground car park, the restoration of the Kursaal and the creation of additional fountains that have become famous as the “Fontante Danzanti di Cattolica”.
Piazza Mercato – The covered market of Cattolica
Historically dedicated to fishing and business, in the first twentieth century, Cattolica needed a stable base where quietly tread its goods without causing them damage.
In those years, the project of Cattolica’s Covered Market came definitively to live in 5 June 1926, in the presence of Italo Balbo with a cost of 600.000 Lire.
The building wasn’t far from the Town Hall (Palazzo Mancini) and, to further characterize it, was decorated with the Queen of Adriatic’ arms, located in the façade and a large Triton placed on the side of the building.
On a functional level, the Covered Market included a large space divided in two main areas, one designed for fishing sale and one for other goods. While downstairs the original plan which predicted the creation of a village hall was abandoned and they preferred the construction of warehouses for commercial use.
Thanks to a major renovation and maintenance occurred in recent years the building has returned to its past glory.
The works funded by the City of Cattolica and by private citizen has completely revised the organization of commercial activities inside the building and added new features: the new “Piazza Mercato”, base of various events that take place in Cattolica, the construction of a large underground car park, the construction of shops on the side of the Covered Market and, as if to resume the original intentions of the founders, the construction of a multipurpose room, called “Cinema Teatro Snaporaz”, in which are also held performances, concerts, conventions and conferences, a sort of "party hall".
The main streets of the seaside resort: Piazza Nettuno, Via Bovio,Via Fiume, Via Dante
At the beginning of the nineteenth century Cattolica's life carried out along the Via Flaminia, with only a few fisherman settlements situated on the coast, but in the second part of the century the centre of the town moved towards the coast, particularly towards the zone equipped for taking a bath, where the Hotel Kursaal will be built. The progressive increase of tourism in the economy of the town led to the improvement of formerly less important areas: around the area with bathing facilities the urbanization works mainly concerned the refurbishment of existing streets used to connect the old part of Cattolica to the sea. New built streets testified these changes: Via Marina (now Via Marconi), Strada dei Bagni ( linking the Old Town to the sea), Via degli Arenili (now Via Dante) and Via Belvedere. Moreover, urban expansion and tourists growth needed necessarily of an accurate planning of a new part of the city. From that period the western side of Cattolica developed for tourism along Viale Carducci while Via Del Prete was equipped for the citizens; between the two streets Via Dante became more and more important. The foundations were thrown for today's Cattolica roads network . Along these roads, between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, tourists coming from the cities, following the fashion of thalassotherapy and then of seaside holidays, began to build villas and houses beside the ones of residents that were converted into pensions during the summer.
With the passing of years, especially between the two wars, the number of constructions increased. The houses belonged to those who chose Cattolica as stable residence for their summer holidays. At the same time there was also a clear increase of landlord, pensions and hotels which testified a change regarding the holiday to the sea: from a well-off elite destination to a middle class accessible destination.
Over the years, especially between the wars, it has been a steady increase in the density of buildings, still consisting of cottages of tourists who chose the nascent Cattolica as a stable home for their summer holidays, but with a net increase of rent, inns and hotels that describe the change of holidays to the sea: from a wealthy elite prerogative, a progressive standardization of the phenomenon that was now becoming accessible from the middle class.
The Streets of New Cattolica, in this scenario, one can say that undergo the course of time, and see traffic increase at the expense of a certain amount of liveability that was sacrificed on the altar of the housing boom, protagonist of the postwar period up to threshold of 70. But new ideas germinated in the sensitivity of the new municipalities, which already planned around the 80s and later went to work decidedly different remakes directed toward the person and the quality of tourism and the life: Piazza primo Maggio, the confluence of the main streets of tourism of Cattolica, is completely paved, as well as Via Bovio, increasing shopping center, Via Curiel and Via Dante also in several tranches, where hotels, shops and restaurants blend together to create one large loung much appreciated by tourists and residents of Cattolica.
Le Navi from colony to Marina Aquarium of Cattolica.
The cluster architecture that will give an impression so striking to the promenade of Cattolica, built between the mouths of two rivers that flow so close to the Adriatic, the Conca and Ventena, was conceived and designed in the early '30s, strongly wanted by the Directorate General of the "Sons of Italians Abroad" at a time when the Italian coast, and especially the Romagna’s were dotted with huge buildings for the care and entertainment for children.
The project was entrusted to the roman architect Clemente Busiri Vici, one of the greatest exponents of the Italian Futurist movement, which took inspiration for the creation of future Marine Colonies "XXVIII October" from the appearance of a fleet of armored battleship, in plain futuristic style of exaltation of machines and speed. The actual construction of five buildings, with a perfectly symmetrical special disposition, then formed by a central building and two pairs of lateral buildings, spent a relatively short time, and yet in 1934 the complex was completed and inaugurated on June 28 of that year in the presence of Benito Mussolini.
The next winter new works interested the complex, which by then had acquired a certain notoriety in the national level through the press and propaganda films of the time, and starts the construction of more four buildings: two buildings shaped like a torpedo mountside, a bunkers-church and a building for the guard. Also to be added to the complex also a farm and fields devoted to growing food, which allowed the Colonies XXVIII October, in perfect harmony with the autarchic canons of that time, to boast the self-sufficiency even when fully inhabited by about 2000 small "sailors "that seasonally went to sea on our shores.
The end of fascism and the entry into the Second World War saw Le Navi to become a military hospital, then with the peace to regain its former use, becoming the Colony Marina G. De Michelis.
In later years the ownership and management of the colony passed into many hands, dating back to 1963, during the economic boom, the decision to drop the Master Plan of the area occupied by the colonies, with the result that the owners decided to carve and to assign construction of the tourist area of "Le Navi" wiping out a couple of buildings, the ones to the south, thus changing the character of the complex.
With the return of the property of “Le Navi” to the Emilia Romagna Region, a new phase of recovery and enhancement of the complex begins: a first phase includes the old colonies become "International Youth Centre", where were boys from all over Europe were hosted in a project of cultural exchange. Thereafter, namely the early '90s, studies and projects are initiated on the possibility of operation by the area's cultural and media center dedicated to the sea, they actually materializes at the end of the decade with the opening of the Parco Le Navi of Cattolica, a theme park at the forefront of technology, communication and exploitation of space available, that is the buildings of the Colony Marina that regains their luster after a major restoration and redevelopment.
Today the Parco Le Navi has become Aquarium of Cattolica, one of the largest water parks in Europe, of which you can find all the information on our website pages dedicated to it
|Foto tratte da "Abbiamo fatto 13?..", copyright Comune di Cattolica. Foto dell'Archivio di Cattolica (arch. Urbanistica, Lavori Pubblici e Marketing)., Dorigo Vanzolini, Marchi & Marchi, Industrie Pica, Paolo De Stefano|